Twelve days of holiday films

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Collage Created by Logan King

During the most wonderful time of the year, there is nothing than better to do than to get comfy and watch some classic Christmas movies. These twelve Christmas movies are sure to warm your heart during the holiday season. When you watch these movies, you may laugh, cry, or even sing, but you will certainly have a great time watching these holiday classics.

“Elf”
The movie “Elf” tells the tale of Buddy (Will Ferrell), a human who has been raised by Santa’s elves for all of his life. One day, he decides to leaves the North Pole and go to New York in search of his biological father (who happens to be on the naughty list). However, when he arrives in the city things are not quite jolly, which is no surprise since it is New York City. This is a film that not only has the audience laughing at Will Ferrell’s stellar performance as a human raised by elves, but also adds heart to the film and fills people with Christmas cheer.

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”
This Christmas comedy is the third installment of the “National Lampoon’s Vacation” series, a comedy film series about the Griswold Family and how each of their family vacations tends to be disastrous. This time the family decides to stay home for the holidays because Clark (Chevy Chase), the father, wants to celebrate a good old-fashioned Christmas. However, because they are cursed with the label of “The Griswold Family,” the family constantly gets caught in strange, unfortunate, yet hilarious predicaments. Whether it is attempting to chop down a Christmas tree, setting up the Christmas lights, or even having surprise visits from relatives, everything turns into a disaster for the Griswolds.

“Batman Returns”
When it comes to the topic of Christmas movies, a film that follows a vigilante dressed like a bat is not really the first thing that pops into your mind. “Batman Returns” is a sequel to Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman,” a film that mixes its dark tone with a cartoonish tone. This time Batman (Michael Keaton) tries to take down new villains like The Penguin, Catwoman, and Christopher Walken. The whole setting of the film takes place in the dark and gritty fictional city of Gotham, yet the entire movie is wrapped around the holiday season. Having the film take place in the Christmas season makes the combination of its dark-tone and its cartoonish-tone even more effective, which makes this the Christmas movie for comic-book geeks to watch.

“Home Alone”
“Home Alone” centers around Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), the youngest son of the McCallister family, who accidentally gets left behind at the family’s house while the rest of the family flies to Paris. Kevin uses this predicament to his advantage, as he is given more freedom than ever and because of this he gets into mischief. However, Kevin soon must take responsibility and protect his family’s house, when two burglars who call themselves “The Wet Bandits” plan on robbing the house. The movie warms the heart of audiences, when Kevin comes to realize that family is important, no matter how different you are. Yet, the film also gives plenty of laughs to its audience, especially the film’s slapstick comedy when Kevin makes his final confrontation with “The Wet Bandits.”

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”
It must be difficult to create a movie that can work as both a Christmas movie and a Halloween movie, yet the musical “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is able to mix the two holidays successfully. The film tells the story of Jack Skellington, the “Pumpkin King” of Halloween Town, and how he is tired of the annual tradition of Halloween. However, once Jack discovers the festive holiday of Christmas, he becomes obsessed with the holiday and he decides to take over the Christmas holiday. The film is creepy, but at the same time it is charming and delightful to watch. Plus, all the songs in the film are a delight to listen.

“It’s A Wonderful Life”
Considered to be one of the best Christmas movies of all time, “It’s A Wonderful Life” follows George Bailey (James Stewart), a man who is depressed, troubled, and suicidal. On Christmas Eve, George is convinced to jump off a bridge and end himself. He is soon interrupted though by Clarence Odbody, George’s guardian angel. In order to convince George that he is worth being alive, Clarence shows George an alternate reality in which George was never born. This film teaches its audience to not only appreciate for what you have, but also that they are worth living in this world.

“A Christmas Carol”
There are multiple adaptations of “A Christmas Carol”, a novel by Charles Dickens. The movies follow a greedy man named Ebenezer Scrooge, who definitely does not have Christmas spirit. He is visited by four ghosts: the ghost of his old friend, and the ghosts of Christmases past, present, and future. After his confrontation with the four ghosts, Scrooge has a change of personality. He becomes caring and kind, to much of his town’s surprise. If you have a Scrooge in your life, this film could show you what it takes to bring them to his or her senses.

“A Christmas Story”
This holiday classic is a 1983 comedy based on the book “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash” by Jean Shepherd. The movie centers around a nine-year-old boy named Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) who desperately wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas. His wish is shot down by his mother (Melinda Dillon), teacher (Tedde Moore), and a store’s Santa Claus each saying, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” This is the movie to watch if you have ever desperately desired a toy for Christmas.

“The Polar Express”
This 2004 animated film is set in the 1950s and centers around a young boy who, on Christmas Eve, climbs aboard a train that stops outside of his house. The conductor claims that he is on the passenger list and at the last second, the boy jumps on. He makes several friends on the train ride to the North Pole where the children are greeted by a multitude of elves. The boy remains skeptical about Santa Claus until he faces the man himself. There are several struggles and lots of hot chocolate throughout the movie. If you have ever doubted the magic of Santa, this is the movie to watch.

“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
This movie is based on the first Dr. Seuss book to be adapted into a full-length film: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” It centers around a grouchy cave-dwelling creature named the Grinch. He lives on a snowy mountain near Whoville, a town that is home to the happy and spirited Whos. The Grinch’s only companion is a small dog named Max. He is able to hear the Whos’ loud festivities from his cave and, being extremely annoyed, he travels down the mountain and to the village with Max to rob the Whos of their presents, Christmas trees, and other household items. This film is definitely one to watch. Some may be able to relate to the Grinch’s foul attitude around the holidays and others will have a good laugh.

“Scrooged”
“Scrooged” is a 1988 modernized version of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol.” It is more of a comedy than the other adaptations of “A Christmas Carol.” The film centers around Frank Cross (Bill Murray) who is a successful and wealthy television executive. He is rude and cruel to everyone around him, including his love, Claire Phillips, who left him for his brother. When he must screen a live broadcast of “A Christmas Carol,” his life begins to mirror the movie. Like Ebenezer Scrooge, Frank Cross is visited by the ghosts of Christmases past, present, and future. This film teaches a lesson about the importance of being kind to others during the holiday season.

“Frosty the Snowman”
“Frosty the Snowman” is a 1969 animated television special that is based on the song, “Frosty the Snowman.” A group of children build a snowman and after placing a hat on the snowman’s head, the snowman comes to life. The hat happens to belong to a magician and throughout the movie, the magician tries to get his hat back. The weather starts to get warmer so Frosty tells the kids that he must go to the North Pole. The kids join him on the journey and seek Santa Claus for help. Many have seen this television special and recall the catchy song that coincides with it.